The game had a week's worth of ugly turnovers, ugly rebounds, ugly 3-pointers and ugly free-throw shots by both teams.
But Queens coach Brian Good had his own take on the Royals' 61-53 Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference victory against Coker on Saturday night at Ovens Gym.
"I thought it was beautiful," Good said after Queens (13-5, 9-2) finally put away the last-place Cobras (5-12, 2-9) with a flurry of last-minute free throws to clinch its fourth straight victory. The victory left the Royals in sole possession of second place in the conference.
"The guys were in the locker room saying we didn't play that well, but that couldn't be further from the truth. There will be nights when the ball just doesn't go in the basket, and what do you do?" he said.
"If you defend people, you have a chance to win the game."
Forward Chris Jones led the Royals with 15 points and 10 rebounds. John Thompson scored 13, Darnell Evans 12 and Stephen Bailey 11. Queens matched a season-low in points in a game. But the key stats were on the defensive end.
Queens held the visitors to 35.7 percent shooting from the field, including 2-of-16 from 3-point range. Coker guard Jason Fulwood, NCAA Division II's 3-point percentage leader, missed all six of his tries from beyond the arc and scored just four points.
The Royals never trailed, scored the first eight points and led 30-23 at the half. But the Cobras, led by Lukas Varga's game-high 20 points, were still within striking distance in the final minutes, closing to 55-50 with 29 seconds left .
Queens contributed to that rally with some shaky free-throw shooting until the final minute, when the Royals made seven of their final 10.
"We missed some free throws and we missed a couple of open shots late against a zone that could have wrapped up the game," Good said.
"But we went to the other end and got a stop, and that was the difference."
Reprinted by permission of The Charlotte Observer (www.charlotte.com)